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Category: Capital Markets Tags: 2021, Capital Markets, year in review

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In the last 12 months, almost $80B in transaction volume has closed in the retail sector, fueled by the low-yield environment. Although the challenges from COVID are still present, there is enough understanding of the market that investors have been able to underwrite acquisitions. In 2021, investors heavily targeted single tenant net lease deals corporately backed by credit tenants and grocery-anchored centers that have shown to avoid e-commerce disruption. However, in Q3 and Q4, a pronounced uptick in sales of non-grocery anchored shopping strips and regional shopping centers occurred, indicating more comfortability with capital placement in these assets. Price growth for retail assets has been stronger in secondary and tertiary markets, where restrictions throughout the pandemic have been less intense. In November 2021, a whopping 64 percent of all retail deal activity was tied up in entity-level transactions, according to RCA. The current dichotomy evidences’ this in private versus public retail real estate pricing, and there will likely be more retail REITs turning to mergers or privatization to unlock shareholder value. In addition, the executive management teams of numerous retail-focused REITs have publicly lamented the difference between public and private valuations, suggesting more strategic reviews are likely forthcoming.

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